The Arauelo III solar facility, with a capacity of 40 MW, is the very first large-scale PV facility in Spain to include an energy storage system, in this instance a 3 MW/9 MWh battery system.

The solar facility is now active and is part of Iberdrola’s Campo Arauelo photovoltaic complex in Almaraz, Extremadura, which comprises the Arauelo III, I, II solar plants, which have a total capacity of 143 MW.

Iberdrola chose Ingeteam to outfit the Campo Arauelo solar project. Ingeteam provided the typical units for a PV plant at Arauelo plants I and II, including transformer stations, PV inverters, a power plant controller (PPC) system, and commissioning. The project is unique in that, apart from all of the above, Ingeteam also accomplished the turnkey delivery of energy storage system for Arauelo III. Ingeteam provided the lithium-ion batteries, as well as the integration of batteries into the 45-foot containers, the converters, the civil work, the SCADA monitoring system, and the field assembly and commissioning of the storage system.

Ingeteam was also in charge of supplying the Arauelo III substation with its control system and digital protection. The systems responsible for the safety and management of the line sending electricity from the facility to the grid, the step-up transformer (30/132kV), the collector circuits, and connecting circuit for system of energy storage, as well as giving real-time information as well as the accessibility to any of the units to the renewable energy control center (CORE), were included in the scope of service.

This project is the maiden large-scale solar facility in Spain to include batteries, and it also has a unique characteristic in that battery storage system is integrated into the PV facility as a distributed system featuring a DC-Coupling arrangement. The batteries are positioned within the battery converters and the solar array, use the DC connection alongside the PV inverters in this manner, which provides the following significant technological benefits:

The ability to use the additional power generated by solar panels when they are not in use during peak production hours. Because the connection between both the batteries and the panels only runs through a DC/DC converter, it is possible to minimize losses by simply charging the batteries from PV array. In comparison to the AC-connected method, the discharge is much more efficient because no power transformer is needed.

Ingeteam invented a different battery converter, the INGECON SUN STORAGE Power family’s DC-DC series, enabled this revolutionary technology to establish a hybrid PV production system with battery energy storage. The converter is connected to DC input of the PV inverter, resulting in a hybrid central inverter with direct connections to solar panels and batteries, as well as a single AC output connected to LV/MV transformer.

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